“Andre’ van Rensburg, who now lives in Taiwan, has been an esteemed member of the South African music scene for sometime having performed with Die Menere, Battery 9, Ohm and Supernature. Unfinished Cities his second solo album is a collection of thirteen instrumental pieces featuring world-renowned experimental/virtuoso koto player Chieko Mori and Yoko Ikoma on accordion and toy piano. South African violinist Brendan Jury, who formed Ohm with Van Rensburg in the late nineties, also guests. As a whole the album is an enchanting exploration of sound and despite the quality of his collaborators it is Van Rensburg’s solo guitar pieces that really impressed. Part 7 with its rich warm guitar tones encased in the silence that surrounds them, is something to truly behold, while on Part 12 it sounds like Van Rensburg is dismembering his guitar. This is not an album for everyone; in fact its appeal is likely to be limited. But if you have an interest in experimental music this is well worth a listen.”
“This is an album of experimental/avant guitar music. I know that some folks think it is easy to just make noise and call it avant-garde, but it isn’t easy to make something that’s as well organized and listenable as this release. Includes various guests, but this is predominantly a guitar album.”
Do we deconstruct the music in an elevator that’s the thought that occurs when I think of Instrumental albums, are we a gang of thieves who shun the non-lyrical content of an album that has no words but has meaning in the evanescence of a din that denotes an emotion that could have encompassing substance? When imagery comes to mind but only the composer can wield the illusive thought provocation that he has had in mind and the transference then onto the audience, I’m referring to Andre van Rensburg With his two solo albums layered with heavy cognitive breakdowns of constructs that could easily be on track with Angelo Badalamenti; this is an Odyssey.
On opening the beautiful encased disc “Concrete”; Black & White tones would lead one to believe that only misery would prevail but alas merry folk if one listens there is a sense of all sorts of yellow-and-blue and a hint of tender. Easy to the ear then at a leap a surprising opus will have at the core of your being jolted to the sensory that is a simulacrum of what is to be heard. After listening to the Album I have to say I found humour yes I did in all the beauty of the Strings, Horns, Piano, Life, Guitar, Was that a building falling? Yes industrial music for the restless soul my song from Concrete Is indeed “end credits (my funeral)”, then there is “lynchmop”. The titles versus the music can make you ponder or the notes and clamber can either way it’s thought provoking music.